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Visit Inveraray

eilidh__cameroneilidh__cameron VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
Over the summer I have been working with VisitScotland in the tourist information center in Inveraray which has been a lot of fun so I thought I would share some of my knowledge of the town to see if I can entice you to come for a wee visit yourself.

Firstly I will give you a wee bit of history of this delightful little town, which was once ' The Capital of Argyll.' Despite being 250 years old the town which stands today is actually the 'new town' and was one of the first planned townships in Scotland. Before the middle of the 18th century the layout of Inveraray (Inbhir Aora in Gaelic) was slightly different,  a castle and town has stood at this site since the 1400's but the layout all changed when the 3rd Duke of Argyll decided to build a much grander, mansion style castle, to replace the old castle which was beginning to fall into disrepair. The old castle was a much more defensive building, built to protect and defend it's inhabitants from other Highland clans but after the failure of the Jacobite uprising in 1745 clan warfare was much less of a worry and there was no longer a need for such defensive buildings . The new castle was to be built on the site of the old town which meant the town had to be knocked town and moved to the site where it stands today. The castle was constructed between 1945 and 1960 and the new town constructed between 1753 and 1776. In the years that followed many famous people visited the town including James Boswell, Robert Burns and even Queen Victoria. The author of Para handy, Neil Munro was also born in Inveraray in 1863. 

The vital spark inspired by Neil Munro's Para Handy stories.

During the summer months the town is buzzing with activity, tourist come from all over the world to visit the Jail, Castle, Bell tower and admire the beautiful views. 

The castle is probably the most popular attraction in the town, not only is the castle stunningly beautiful inside and out but is also the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, head of the clan Campbell which for many people adds to the attraction especially if they have Campbell ancestry. http://http//  

The castle grounds are free to walk around and there are many beautiful paths and trails to follow. One of these trails leads up to Dun Na Cuaiche and the 'watch tower.' From here you can look down Loch Fyne and the views are stunning. http://http// 

My favorite attraction in the town is Inveraray Jail museum http://https// this was the jail for the entire county of Argyll between 1820 and 1889 where men, woman, children and the insane were held. There are three different buildings to visit,  firstly the court house, then the old section of the prison and then the new section. There is a great deal of information available and each room is very interactive. If you pop into the VisitScotland tourist office in Inveraray we can give you a 20% discount voucher! 

The other main attraction in Inveraray is the Bell Tower http://http// . This was built by the Duke of Argyll as a ' noble memorial to all the sons of Clan Campbell who fell in World War 1.' The bells are massive, weighing 8 tonnes which means they have the second heaviest in the world. In the summer months you are able to enter the bell tower. 

Inveraray has a variety of quaint little shops and restaurants on its main street for you to explore so although the town is small it was a lot to offer. 

The main street in Inveraray on a busy August afternoon.

The landscape of the surrounding area is also stunning I'll add some views below which are within one hours drive of the town.

This view is from Inveraray Pier, the hill is Dun Na Cuaich with the watch tower on top.

Looking up Loch Fyne from the green at the front of Inveraray.

Loch Restil, around 25 minutes drive from the town, you will pass this if you're driving from Glasgow 

Kilchurn Castle (prounced Kil- hoorn) which sits at the head of Loch Awe, around 20 mins from Inveraray. 

Avich falls, these beautiful falls are just outside Dalavich around 1 hour away from Inveraray.


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Great writeup @eilidh__cameron, I have passed through Inveraray briefly on my way to Islay, seemed like a bustling town in its own right.

    One reason to visit which isn't mentioned is that the Inveraray Castle was prominently featured in Downtown Abbey (in the episodes where the incredibly rich English family come to Scotland to hunt and stay with their incredibly rich Scottish family / friends who in turn live in the Inveraray Castle). Apparently it was a Christmas episode.

    That episode was by far my most favourite for the show because it showed how beautiful Scotland is (compared to England).

    The daytrip excursions are super ideas as well.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Spectacular photos @eilidh__cameron
    You have really captured the best of Inveraray. I finally got a definitive answer on how to pronounce Kilchurn - thank you!
  • eilidh__cameroneilidh__cameron VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017

    Thank you. Yeah it's a great wee town and has so much to offer for the size of it.

    Ah I always forget to tell people Downtown Abbey filmed an episode at the castle, it was such a good episode as well. Thanks for mentioning that :) 

    Also, I had a quick look at your blog, looks awesome. I'll need to have a proper read when I have more time. 

  • eilidh__cameroneilidh__cameron VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭


    Thank you :)

    Haha, yeah I think most people pronounce the name incorrectly to be honest  :D Kilchurn is the Anglicised spelling. The original Gaelic spelling is Caol a’ Chὺirn (which roughly mean 'Fort on the narrow rock') The 'C' is silent and 'ὺi' is pronounced more like 'oo' 

    Don't know if that'll help people or not haha. 

  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Brilliant photos! @eilidh__cameron

    Lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist for The Bright SkiesSpotify, Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube.
  • eilidh__cameroneilidh__cameron VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    @VisitScotlandLiam Thank you very much :)

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